John’s story on helping modern society become independent of fossil fuels

John’s story on helping modern society become independent of fossil fuels


Modern society has become
dependent upon energy. We have to learn to eliminate
our dependence on fossil fuels, so that we can be sustained
by the energy from the sun, but you need to be able to store it. The battery is one of the best ways
to store electric power efficiently. I knew I didn’t have the basic talents
to be the world’s best theoretical physicist,
but at the same time I thought physics was what I needed to do
to take the next step in life. I went quite late to science,
I was in my fifties when we developed an idea
for a different kind of battery film. Retirement never crossed my mind. My wife was very happy for me
to continue to work. We never really had to discuss it. So, I continue. I want to help society, modern society,
become independent of fossil fuels. It’s hard. A lot of people have been
trying, and they haven’t succeeded. I probably spent too much time at my
work and not enough time with my wife. The whole field has been frustrated
for twenty years. Not everything works as soon
as you put your fingers on it, no. I mean, I’m just one more simple
human being trying to do his job. My wife got Alzheimer’s, and it’s a very difficult disease to
watch somebody you care for struggle when they lose the abilities
they used to have. The last year and a half to two years,
I had to put her in a nursing home, because I just couldn’t handle it
any more. But I had supper with her every night, so we continued in companionship
until the very end. What gives life meaning? I believe the meaning for life
is what we serve. We have to choose very carefully
what it is we choose to serve in life, because that will determine
what we become. The university is open five days a week.
I go five days a week, and then I usually work one day on the
weekend. I try to work Saturday at home and a little bit on Sunday, as well. Until we solve the problem of… helping modern society reduce
its dependence on fossil fuels, there’s work to be done. You can’t think like everybody else
thinks. You have to stop and ask. Then you may get a happy surprise. You’ve got to find a way around the
problems of the present lithium ion battery. And I’m hoping we’ve just been able
to find a solution to that. We have a safe, all solid-state cell of high energy density
that is very cheap to make. There is to be a conference in Canada… Good morning, everybody. …and I intend to disclose
what we’re doing at that conference. Just like the lithium ion battery
gave you the wireless revolution, we will now have the ability to store
energy at a big enough volume and a low enough
cost that it can compete with oil. I think it will be transformational.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

15 thoughts on “John’s story on helping modern society become independent of fossil fuels

  1. Having a stupendous challenge in your life makes you keep going on and on. No retirement. No surrender. Total obsession. Let's all be like John B. Goodenough!

  2. It's all in the name. If he was been born John B Anabsolutebastard he'd be horrible. Good thing he doesn't have that surname.

  3. "When I was registering for class, the registration officer said, ‘Don’t you know, anyone who’s done anything important in physics has already done it by your age?" John, that's a good one.

  4. Complete respect for John but the answer isn't energy storage. Energy storage is an old way of thinking. The answer is on demand energy. Storage will always have a maximum capacity while on demand for each electrical load is unlimited.

  5. God bless Good Enough.. With health….
    Nobel committee suffers from mental inertia….
    Good Enough needs to be old enough to receive Nobel Prize…
    Empower Nobelist committee with Artificial intelligence….
    For making Nobel Prize more worthy…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *